Friday, May 23, 2014

On Playing Games which are "In Progress"

I've gone back and forth a lot of the time on games that are in on-going beta or otherwise in a state of incompleteness. Having talked to developers about some of these projects there's the sense that some of the projects will simply never be complete, that they will remain an a state of on going production until desire wanes, either theirs of the player's. But what kinds of unfinished games are there and what are they about?

Friday, May 2, 2014

What I Did in Always Sometimes Monsters, a Preview

This is a game that has been on my radar for a while. You can imagine my absolute delight when I was asked by developer Vagabond Dog if I was interested in getting to preview it. It's been kind of stormy and slow around these parts so waking up to that was a fantastic way to start my day indeed.

So enough about me talking about how much I wanted to play it. I played it. I liked it. I liked it a lot. I've been wanting to play this game for a while now and I don't mean that I've been wanting to play Always Sometimes Monsters. I have been wanting to play a theoretical game like this one and the team at Vagabond Dog delivered it.

I love the Walking Dead games as much as the next person but Vagabond Dog touches on something that the Walking Dead only motions towards, that our actions can be consequential and limiting but also open up new avenues. I started out not knowing what I was doing and being careful about what I did, careful who I talked to. That kind of carefulness actually makes the game kind of hard to enjoy, Always Sometimes Monsters wants you to jump in, it wants you to get your hands dirty and do it fast.

What follows is an account of what happened when I did dive in. Spoilers ahead.